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Do I need a Gate for this?

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Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby TNGator » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:15 pm

Hey gang. Im getting lost in a minefield here so I'll just start a thread. Am i looking for a thing called a Gate?
Im using virtual drums. And one thing i noticed and it bugs the hell out of me is that the toms all have this wwoooooom woooom sound at the tail end. Im looking a for a dead thud sound.
If I could give you an example maybe? If you get a chance, could someone go to YT and look for a Demi Lovato song called Whats Wrong with Being Confident.
It has what I affectionately call "horses hooves" drumming.
Two things.
1: Is a gate what's used here to deaden that drum?
2: Im using Cakwalk and it doesn't seem to have a stock gate. Compressors yes but I cant find a gate. Ive no problem paying for a download plug in once I know what it is I need to go and get.
Thanks guys.
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby The Elf » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:24 pm

Strictly speaking, you could use a gate, but doesn't the software drum player you're using let you apply a volume envelope to your sounds? That would give you a finer degree of control. In my experience it's usually a pretty simple thing to do in most drum players and samplers, including Kontakt, which is my player of choice.
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby TNGator » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:26 pm

The Elf wrote:Strictly speaking, you could use a gate, but doesn't the software drum player you're using let you apply a volume envelope to your sounds? That would give you a finer degree of control. In my experience it's usually a pretty simple thing to do in most drum players and samplers, including Kontakt, which is my player of choice.

Hi Elf. No it only gives a tuning option on each drum. Im using the built in Session Drummer that comes with the DAW. :(
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:32 pm

You'd be better off finding the right drum samples for the sound you require.
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:33 pm

TNGator wrote:... Am i looking for a thing called a Gate?
Im using virtual drums. And one thing i noticed and it bugs the hell out of me is that the toms all have this wwoooooom woooom sound at the tail end. Im looking a for a dead thud sound.

A gate is one possible thing you could look at but I find that they tend to introduce a strong sense of 'artificialness' once the threshold is reached and the sound rapidly fades away to absolute zero. Of course there are controls on most of them for the time taken to react to that threshold but even so, it does sound slightly odd even though it'll take you in the direction you're talking about.

As Elf said, with virtual drums there should be some kind of amplitude envelope to adjust the speed at which they fade, and if you can use that then the result will sound better IMHO.

Alternatively, if you are working in a DAW and can put the toms on their own track, you could use some fader automation to attenuate the tails. If you do it for a bar or two by hand, then you should be able to cut 'n paste it for similar bars. It's a little fiddly but should work well.

Editing the sound at source to have a shorter decay would certainly be preferable to most other solutions, but as you say that's not possible then I'd experiment with fader automation in the DAW rather than try and do it with a plugin.
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby TNGator » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:33 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:You'd be better off finding the right drum samples for the sound you require.

Quite possibly bro
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby The Elf » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:36 pm

Frankly, I'd swap out for different samples, or at least a different sample player with better control features. There are free ones out there that can do something as basic as this.
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:37 pm

A quick search for some free VST gate plugins throws up a number of results. I'm not going to link to them here as I cannot vouch for them (and I still think it's not really the right solution), but it might be worth you doing the same search and trying a couple out in the absence of an alternative that works for you.
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby TNGator » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:41 pm

Thanks guys. Looks like the general opinion is to look for a better drum sample. Elf mention Kontakt. Last time I checked on that bad boy though it was very expensive. I think the player I have is fine. I'll just look for better samples to download.
So what exactly is gate used for? Is it a type of compressor?
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:46 pm

One example is for controlling spill in drum close mics, the gate can set to open (i.e. allow signal from the mic through to the desk) only when the drum is hit but closes to prevent low level signals like spill from the cymbals from getting through on the close mic.

Sort of the opposite of a compressor if you like.
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:48 pm

TNGator wrote:So what exactly is gate used for? Is it a type of compressor?

A gate acts much like a fader or a VCA but is automatic. Acting as an insert effect (ie: the whole signal goes through it) it monitors the level of the input and once that level goes below a configurable threshold for a configurable time it reduces the 'volume' down to nothing over a (you guessed it) configurable time. They are often used for the spoken word to eliminate background noise between phrases.

Many gates have a setting which determines the time for them to 'reset' and start listening again as well. It wasn't a bad idea to use a gate in principle, it's just that when used for musical purposes they can introduce a slightly (or worse, a prominently) un-natural sound as they are, after all, automatons which simply act on their parameters without much, if any, sensibility for the musical-ness of the material.

Replacement samples or the ability to configure the decay in the sound source is a better solution, but I still propose fader automation as a last resort in preference to a gate. It'll sound a lot more musical.
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby TNGator » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:51 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:One example is for controlling spill in drum close mics, the gate can set to open (i.e. allow signal from the mic through to the desk) only when the drum is hit but closes to prevent low level signals like spill from the cymbals from getting through on the close mic.

Sort of the opposite of a compressor if you like.
oh I see. OK..maybe not exactly what I'm looking for then.
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:07 pm

It could be configure to shorten the decay of the tom hit, (I've used them live to remove the ringing/resonating that toms quite often exhibit as part of a full acoustic kit) you'd set the gate to close over a set time after the initial transient by setting the threshold a little below the transient's level. But I'd rather damp the toms a little so the gate is not affecting the sound of the drum itself, only the resonance/ringing caused by hits on other drums in the kit.
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:30 pm

If you need them, there are two gate effects built into cakewalk:-

Sonitus gate & Cakewalk Compessor gate

Normally, I would recomend the Sonitus as its simple to setup
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:30 pm

Bu that sound is part of a real live drum kit unless they've got massive amounts of physical damping. On its own it sounds wrong. As part of a full kit it sounds natural and real.
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:46 pm

Yes it does but the overheads pick up a more natural amount of resonance, the close mic picks up much more and need to be controlled or it sounds unnatural. A gate can help avoid muddiness. I prefer the sound of a kit miked with overheads and kick/snare mics but when the environment or nature of the band make that impossible close mics are necessary.
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby ManFromGlass » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:07 am

I have a timpani sample with a huge ring off that I apply a plugin from boz digital called Transgressor. It gives fantastic control over the attack or in my case, the ring off.
https://www.bozdigitallabs.com/plugins/
I don’t know if Cakewalk is Mac or PC. I’m on a Mac. I’m not sure if Boz’s plugs are multi platform.
It sounds like you are looking for something along these lines. His YouTube’s are very clear about how simple his plugins are to use.
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby TNGator » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:21 am

Wonks wrote:Bu that sound is part of a real live drum kit unless they've got massive amounts of physical damping. On its own it sounds wrong. As part of a full kit it sounds natural and real.

I'll have a look at those and see if i can dampen (or kill) that trailing end. Really hate it to be honest.
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby TNGator » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:23 am

ManFromGlass wrote:I have a timpani sample with a huge ring off that I apply a plugin from boz digital called Transgressor. It gives fantastic control over the attack or in my case, the ring off.
https://www.bozdigitallabs.com/plugins/
I don’t know if Cakewalk is Mac or PC. I’m on a Mac. I’m not sure if Boz’s plugs are multi platform.
It sounds like you are looking for something along these lines. His YouTube’s are very clear about how simple his plugins are to use.

Just looking at that now. Seems like its just what I looking for. I see there is a trial version. Thanks for sharing bro :) :bouncy:
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Re: Do I need a Gate for this?

Postby blinddrew » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:32 am

The other thing you could try is a slow acting compressor. Set it to allow the attack and initial boom to come through but then clamp down on the tail. Can be a bit more subtle than a gate.
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